The summer before I left for college, I started to worry: what if I didn’t find my “people?” Coming from a rural small-town over 700 miles away, I knew I’d have to make Oxford my home, but I had no idea what my peers would be like, or even how to meet people at college. Plus, I had always heard stories of how people just lucked into meeting their closest friends; and that was terrifying because I have terrible luck. After a semester and a half at Oxford, however, I’ve found there are so many chances to meet awesome individuals and I was able to find my “people” in no time.
Because I was a little worried (to say the least), I decided to attend Own Oxford, a summer program for incoming first-years to get acquainted with the campus and meet classmates. The program was incredible; within an hour of arriving I was laughing with a great group of people in the Fleming residential hall lounge, and playing pool while we waited for everyone else to arrive. Those few days passed by like a blur and as I flew back home, I knew I was going to fit right in. I couldn’t wait for August to arrive so I could catch up with the friends I had made at Own Oxford.
Once the semester had started, I heard about the annual Fall Retreat in October, a weekend trip for first-years to camp in the mountains of north Georgia. I knew a few people going, but no close friends. But after two days spent enjoying the lake and camp, I left the retreat with my closest group of friends. None of us really had classes or clubs in common, but it was just the pure luck of the right time at right place that allowed us to build our little community.
While the retreat and Own Oxford were two big opportunities to build community, they were only two events of many. There have been so many run-ins with people from clubs and classes at events, club activities, studying in the library or eating in the dining that bring everyone closer together. That’s the beauty of Oxford and a college our size; you’re truly able to know so many people who come with such a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. And that’s how you find the “people” who make Oxford home.
Jordan Hasty 20OX